Anorak News | Wash Me

Wash Me

by | 2nd, May 2006

‘“WASH ME!” says the sign written in dust on the back of the No. 73 bus. And it might be a cry for help from the bus driver.

As Norwich’s First Bus operator says in its pamphlet Corporate Wear Collection delivered to its drivers: “You must wash regularly, wear a clean shirt daily and use deodorant.”

And this is just one of the 11 rules. Other advice implores the drivers to keep hands and nails in good condition. They must wear watches only if they are small and of a “classic design”. Socks must be black or navy. Shoes must be clean and polished. No trainers.

Reading through the list it seems that John Woods, a spokesman for Norwich and Norfolk Transport Action Group, has a valid point in saying that “it’s over-egging the pudding”. It seems understandable that drivers are unhappy.

But then we hear what David Caller, local representative of the Transport and General Workers’ Union, makes of it. He notes that this company likes to put out such leaflets. It is, says Caller, “company jargon”.

Before we go on, let us take a look at what the Oxford English Dictionary says of jargon: “unintelligible words, gibberish.”

Are we to suppose, then, that an esoteric knowledge of transport language is required to comprehend what is meant by “wash”? Do you need a special driving licence to understand “clean”?

And how do you stay clean, even if you can understand the message? As one driver says: “It’s insulting and disrespectful and if the company doesn’t pay for the deodorant there is going to be a real stink.”

Which may be jargon for smell…’

Posted: 2nd, May 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink